2010-08-03: Slipping

Starring:

Maggie_V5icon.pngStanford_V5icon.png

Date: August 3, 2010

Summary:

There is a such thing as too much Information.


"Slipping"

The Technodrome

Way before anyone even gets to the apartment that belongs to Stanford, they can probably hear the epic speakers he's installed bumping the Doctor Who theme at crazy noise pollution levels. So at least that means that he's at home, right? Right. As the latest episode of the Doctor's adventures plays through on the big screen television mounted on the wall, Stanford comes diving in from some other part of his Lair of Awesome and dives onto the sofa. A big ass bottle of Orange Soda is on the table, as well as a pile of Gummi Frogs. It's all very much planned for comfort, as Stanford leans back against the arm of the sofa and grabs a small screwdriver at which to get back to the finishing touches on the tech-sunglasses that are now in his lap. While he screws this way and that, his eyes are drawn to the youngest Doctor on the screen with a wry smirk. Must be a good episode.

Meanwhile, over in the more work related section of the Lair of Pimposity, his computers are webcrawling and randomly searching for whatever related information he can compile in regards to the current cases that he's got going on his own personal justice end of the law.

Knock knock, Stanford — you have a visitor, someone who must have slipped through the main lobby — and someone who realizes quickly that a standard knock might not be quite enough over the noise of the sci-fi show blasting courtesy of the BBC. The polite rap is followed by a solid hammering of fists with some considerable strength behind them.

And it's also a visitor who knows the technological wonderland inside: staring up straight into the security camera fitted outside Stanford's apartment is the face recognizable as the "friend" of Sam Wright who paid a visit once before. He's nowhere in sight. She seems to be alone. She impresses the importance of her visit by holding her NYPD detective's shield up to the lens for several moments, continuing to stare into the camera quite like she's looking right at Stanford.

Stanford actually pauses in his working and watching when he thinks he hears some knocking on the door. He frowns and looks over, peering at it, but then he doesn't hear it again. "Man, always when I'm playin' catch up. What the hell, man." Stanford rolls his eyes and brings the glasses up to his face, sliding them up and letting them rest on his forehead, whilst he grabs the remote control and pauses the Who in favor of switching channels.

Badge. Blonde.

- 20 to Willpower.

Stanford sighs and swings himself off the sofa, slipping his feet right into his Dinosaur Slippers, which make Raptor Sounds with each step. He yanks up his Orange Soda and Raptors his way over towards the door. Pausing one second to check his face in the hanging mirror (What? She's Blonde. Can't help it.) and Stanford is undoing the fifty locks it takes to get the door open.

"Sup." is said as he leans onto the door and peers out, not fully opening it, just yet. "Please tell me you're common' to seduce me and that this has nothing' to do with anything' computer related. Because I was gonna' take the day off…"

Jeans and a dark grey tweed waistcoat over a modest white blouse round out the detective's apparent work wear — half-casual, half-serious. She doesn't appear to be armed, and at least she's not shoving any kind warrant in the resident's face immediately. The shield is in the process of lowering as the door cracks open, and Maggie tips her head to one side toward Stanford, though her eyes first go to the source of the screeching at his feet before drawing back up.

"Sorry. All business. And I'm afraid it's time sensitive." Maggie reaches behind her to tuck her badge away, but her hand doesn't come back empty — it comes back with a small bag of Gummi Frogs, which she brandishes, dangling, as a gift. A flicker of amusement threatens her sober expression and she does, indeed, offer Stanford a smile, soft and sincere but stretched thin out of hurry. "Can I come in?"

"… Damn you."

Stanford is already pushing the door closed a bit to remove the last chain and then pops the whole thing open, snatching the Gummi Frogs bag and immediately spinning around to kick off the Raptor Slippers. "How come ya'll cops always got somethin' goin' down on my day off. I swear, there's like some kinda' memo." As he heads off in the direction of his laptops and monitors, he raises his hands up. "Attention All Five 0. F wit' Stanford as much as humanly possible whenever you get word he's tryin' watch Doctor Who. Signed, Commissioner Gordon." Stanford drops down into the main seat and reaches over to pull a secondary rolling chair closer than he normally would pull it. If it was Sam or something. Ew.

"What you need?"

Granted entrance to the lair, Maggie strides in, another little flicker of a smile warming her face despite the hacker's elaborate complaining. She does him the courtesy — or both of them the courtesy — of turning to re-do several of the door locks before she makes her way to the empty rolling chair. Some of her smile has lingered, but now starts to dissipate entirely, revealing that gravely all-important expression underneath. She idly pulls the chair back a few paces and starts to get down to business.

"I know you usually deal with Sam," she prefaces. "I hope my being here isn't a problem." She eases into the chair all the same. "I'm looking into the Irish gang in the city— " Understatement. There's a pause from Maggie wherein she studies Stanford, clear eyes critical, chary; Sam might be cozy with this kind of information-gathering and the sharing it entails, but not this detective. " — the rivals of the Takahashis we got you to investigate last time. I could use the help of someone with your skills to narrow down some specifics. Places. A location. We have a few…" Some maneuvering in the chair leads Maggie to pull something out of another back pocket, a small piece of paper she offers Stanford. "In particular? I need to find a place that's important to them, a base.. An address, or a lead to an address, that's all I'm asking for." … So far. Most seriously of all, she adds: "I have to find where Roberto Harlin lives or runs his operation from."

"Damn, girl. Why don't you just ask me to rewrite the Ten Commandments?" Snide remark aside, Stanford is snatching up the paper and whirling back around to his computers. "Let's see what's poppin'."

Stanford clicks most of his previous cases into a minimized paused position before rolling at one laptop and putting Roberto Harlin into his Search Everything database. "Let's see what we can dig up on Robbie boy over here." Mostly just adding his own commentary for the sake of making sure this cop babe knows he knows what the hell he's doing. Stan slides back over to another keyboard and monitor combo, before typing away at some of the names on the paper. "I'll do a cross-check with all these spots with yours, the FBI's and a couple other of my special sources. See if I can come up with any solidly frequented hot spots." He turns to look over his shoulder at Maggie, smirking just a bit. "Then we'll see if anything from here matches anything from there and wham, bam, thank you officer." Yeah, Stanford's pretty confident he'll be able to come up with something before this takes too long so he can get back to the Doctor. "For the record, though, when you come to ask me for favors that will involve me gettin' shot at randomly if your targets find out I helped you? You gotta' bring more than some Gummi Frogs." Wink.

"Well," Maggie starts out slowly, watching the screen with a steady eye, "if all goes well, my targets will be arrested in the near future and you won't have to worry." Her gaze shifts from the prelim computer searches to Stanford and she leans, slightly, over her knees. "If you can help me, you'll have done a good thing. I'm asking you to do this because I want to put some very dangerous individuals away and put a stop to this." And that, in Maggie's eyes, ought to be a reward in itself. Contempt hardens her words. "Harlin doesn't only have crime lord on his resume, he has kidnapper and psychopath as well. He and his crew are responsible for a laundry list of things longer than we know."

Blue eyes skip back to the screens, pensive. "… We have police resources, but this … what you do is so fast. Everything is at your fingertips. It must be a slippery slope…" Speaking of slippery slopes, some twinge of indecision worries at her otherwise calm features. "…If you're cross-checking with FBI records, that means you're in… their database…"

"Relax. I won't tell if you won't."

That would be Stanford trying to reassure Maggie that what he's doing is totally illegal but definitely needed to save the day. "Hey, I'm all for saving the world and everything. Seriously, I am. But a brotha' gots to get paid, that's all I'm saying'."

Ding! has Stanford rolling over to the location cross-checking and he blinks a little bit. "Uhhhhh. Um. If you ain't sittin' down still, you best sit back down. Cuz I don't think you're gonna' like this. I'm reading' it right now and I'm about four seconds away from freakin' the hell out." Stanford's visibly shuddering at this point. "So uh, you know that nightclub, right? The one at the top of the list? Yeah, there's a reason it's at the top. The name Roscoe ringin' any bells Five 0? Cuz his name is all over this place." Stanford almost backs away from the keyboard at this point. But he keeps one hand ready to close the window in case voodoo or something. "It should, cuz this dude is about as bad as they come. Like, I'm talkin' Bruce Banner as the Incredible Hulk bad. Like, I'm talkin' Michael Jackson bad. Like, Dragonball Evolution Sequel bad!" Somebody is trippin'!

It's questionable whether or not Maggie has been reassured, or if she plans to pay Stanford in any form; neither issue gets a reply. Sitting down to start with, she leans back at the mention of the nightclub and, subsequently, Roscoe and Stanford's adamant reaction (fair to say she doesn't register half of his references, but the point comes across just as well without). Her reaction might not quite be what the hacker was expecting, however: she stiffens a touch in her seat, mouth clamping shut tighter. The information on the sordid life of the apparent gangster clearly isn't counted as a win by the detective; rather, she blinks several times and looks away, as if in— guilt? Annoyance? Avoidance, in any case. "Yeah I got it," she says, quiet, more prompting of Stanford to move on than it is harsh, though it walks the line. "Unless you know where … he is— iIt's all right, you don't have to worry about Roscoe or the club. What else do you have."

"Don't have to worry about Roscoe or the club?! Woman, do you know what this dude does?! I'm talkin', like… we're talkin' some Predator shit, woman. Like, body parts is flyin' and everythin'. Blood and gore! This mother fluddpucker is crazy!" Stanford isn't really finding it too reassuring that this cop is just taking this crazy dude that's attached to her club with a grain of salt or whatever. "I think you need to call SWAT and make a reservation or somethin', cuz DAMN!"

"You don't mind if I make this scary ass window go away, right? Right." Click! Roscoe Info gone! "Uhhhh. Let's see. The rest of these places look pretty damn… clean. I mean, ain't nothin' really jumping' out at me. It's too random. Hm." Whirling around to another computer. "Let me check somethin'. I'm bettin' all these places got cams. Or somethin' like it. Security. If I can check the lots…" Stanford trails off, immediately getting focused on the task at hand and letting his speedy fingers do the damn thing.

"Uh huh." Stanford's screen starts rolling footage from about three or four of the different spots on the list. "These cars look like these cars which look like these cars. Hrm." He pauses one and zooms in, grabbing the license plate number and then another window is pulled up. "You can run but you can't hide." is muttered to himself while he gets to working some more of his illegal magic. A program that nobody should know exists starts spinning through numbers, with the license plate on one side. One by one, on the right side of the screen, VIN numbers start popping up. "You dirty rats."

Stanford claps his hands and spins in his chair. "Aight, I did a little extra work, but I got you your connection. It's the cars. Whoever's showin' up here or showin' up there is showin' up in the same different car. Same cars, same VINs, different plates. That's probably why NYPD ain't figure it out. Ya'll don't go no further than the backdoor." Stanford grins and thumbs over his shoulder to the screen. "I go through the front."

Maggie is too quiet while Stanford goes on about Roscoe — and just as quiet as he goes on about everything else, though his chatter-boxing wouldn't have left her much room to pipe up regardless. Waiting, she's looking down, away from the all-important screens when this new information is brought up, leaning into a hand curled atop one tension-stitched brow — she was poised such somewhere around 'blood and gore' and hasn't moved since. Until now. With renewed focus, she looks up to the list of VIN numbers. "They've been switching out licence plates?" She doesn't sound surprised, but definitely intrigued. "Good catch. Can you tell how they've been pulling it off? It's someone's job to fix the plates."

"Good catch my ass. I just Jerry Riced this thing for you." Stanford shrugs, feeling just a bit underappreciated, but that goes with the territory of being an informant for a hot blonde with a badge. Sigh. Cops. He spins himself back around to the keyboard is gets back to work. "These things are pretty easy to do. I mean, all you need is a place with access to a crapload of vehicles. Then all you gotta' do is just switch 'em and ditch 'em, y'know?" As he runs off at the mouth, as usual, Stanford works on tracking VIN numbers and cross-referencing these things with red light camera footage. "All I gotta' do is track a couple of these rides backwards to where they came from. Gotta' love these Traffic Light Cameras." On the screen, there's suddenly a computer generated map that has a couple of colored lines leading from some of the places on the list to a lot somewhere. "Ha! Figures."

He lets that hang on one screen while he moves to another one, inputting the address and letting his webcrawler to his dirty work. Within seconds, there's files popping up on this screen. "Just call me Huggie Bear, Starsky. Cuz I just cracked your case wide open." Grinning, Stanford swivels in his chair to move out of the way and allow Maggie a chance to see the screen. On it? Pictures of the used car lot, some of the cars from the footage, a business profile on the lot with a name and accompanying photo of the owner…

Wilbur Creevey.

"… At least, I think I did. Did I?"

Maggie's intent watch isn't interrupted, this time: she gives a couple of slow nods, her eyes working fast from one bit of information to the next, one screen to the other, taking in everything. The second the photo pops up on the screen, recognition registers for one brief second on her face, and she tugs on the edge of the desk to roll herself an inch or so ahead in her intent study of the screens. "Maybe," she concedes that much. "He's a lackey. I might be able to use him, and with the car lot— " She pauses her study of Mr. Creevey to flash Stanford a quick smile of thanks.

"And the Cyberspace Kidd does it again! Ahhhhhhh!" Stanford is up on his feet and raising his hands in the air as if he's just scored the winning touchdown or something. After all, he's managed to assist the authorities in something that they would've never been able to do without him. This means they kind of owe him one. "I knew I was good but come on. This is like Chocolate Cake for Breakfast." Stanford licks his lips. "Soooo goooood." Eat your heart out, James Franco. After taking a victory gulp of his Orange Deliciousness, he looks back to Maggie… his glasses falling down from his forehead to right over his eyes. "Anything else I ca—"

Stammer.

"Um."

Stammer Time.

"Uh."

Pick up the Stammer!

Cough. Stan the Man lifts his glasses back up and he clears his throat once more. "Anything else you need?" Pay no attention to the slightly wide eyes.

Maggie gets to her feet, gripping the back of the chair and spinning it around to lean into it a moment as she raises one distinct eyebrow at Stanford, a barely defined smirk on her lips. "You okay there, kid?" As for the question of whether or not she needs anything else, she sets to thinking about it — that much is clear, even if just what she's thinking about is not. The thoughts wipe away her smirk, that's for sure, which can't be a good sign for the hacker. She rolls the chair away and touches a knuckle to her mouth, considering Stanford — and his resources. "You're invisible," she says — or prompts, for confirmation, needing to be absolutely sure despite the many past reassurances. The hand raises, stiff, palm-down as she studies Stanford, studies his computers. "I mean completely."

Somewhere in the midst of licking his lips for some unknown reason, Stanford realizes he's being talked to and he looks back up at Maggie's face. "Huh?" Hand goes up and the glasses are snatched off his head and thrown… only to smash against the wall. "Dammit!" Self-growling aside, he composes himself and looks Maggie in the eyes, trying to figure out what in the holy heck is going down. "Uh, yeah. Invisible. You ain't know about me and I've been all up in the NYPD's records for…" Stanford better not incriminate himself. "Look, don't worry 'bout it. They can't find me unless you tell them where to find me. And if you do that, I'm gonna' be so pissed at you! Cuz, I would like to actually live for the forseeable future. There are still places on this planet I have yet to see!"

Maggie's study of Stanford turns pointed — so do her fingers; she literally points at him and opens her mouth to likely warn, chastise, or otherwise explain that he really should not be snooping into the NYPD. Instead: "You seem like a good kid." She tips her head to the right. "Illegal hacking aside. I'm not going to report you. Not as long you're helping me. And really— with all this— " A glance goes to the incredible amount of equipment. " — I think you'd see us coming." She gives a little peaceable smile; she means it.

The detective turns to pace Stanford's place, then, only going as far as the chair she left and back again. She swipes a hand across her forehead and along her hair. "There's…" She closes her eyes and, after a silent battle of sorts, her concern-knitted features even out, her voice calming itself, measured, slow, as if she's reading. "There should… be an audio file belonging to the FBI, based out of New York. It's a wire transmission. It would have stopped in the last few weeks. It should be under the name Laurence Miles." Maggie's eyes open on Stanford. "If not Miles, it might be referred to in regards to the asset important to the case. The gang. The same gang. This is… it's highly classified, and you're probably not going to like it. But if— you could check. It would be appreciated. I promise it won't get you killed. Except maybe by the Director of the FBI here in the city. Or by Sam. If they were to find out. But you've assured me that won't happen."

Now see, everything was just fine and dandy before Maggie had to go and start asking about stuff that will very likely get him arrested so fast it'll make his Mama's Head Spin. Backwards. Stan just kind of stares at Maggie for the longest moment, trying to fight against the hair color… but finding it hard to muster up the courage to say No. So unfair. He needs to conquer this damn weakness of his. Anyway, he just shrugs a little bit and drops back down into his chair at this point. "You never make things easy for me, do you?" It comes out in just a little bit of a teasing tone, before he starts working his magic on the keyboard, bringing up a bunch of different servers (real and bogus) to bounce his attack from, whilst he works on cracking himself into the FBI's Site. This may or may not end well.

"Thanks. I'm sorry." Stanford's tone may have been slightly teasing, but Maggie's is completely serious. "I just— " she starts off, low, hesitating while she strides back to the computer station. She doesn't resume sitting, only grabs the back of the empty chair. "I just I want to know what was on that wire before it went dead." She watches the text flash by on the screen only to look away abruptly, as if avoiding, modestly, looking at things she's not supposed to. "Look at nothing except for that file." Staring unblinkingly at a toward the far wall along her shoulder, she's quiet for a moment. "Are you ever afraid that having all of this information accessible to you is like Pandora's Box?"

"Don't be sorry. Just be… sure you want me doin' this." Meanwhile, a firewire cord is speed-downloading every file Stanford possibly can onto a secure drive somewhere off in the depths of this Tech Lair. Stanford doesn't even look up from his screen, as he keeps one eye on the security monitoring software that's keeping tabs on the FBI scanning for intruders, while his other eye seems to be focused on finding his transmission. "Ain't really worried 'bout Pandora's Box. Cuz I ain't ever tryin' to do much more than pirate my favorite TV shows and maybe the occasional credit card scam for some spending cash." Oops. Self-Incrimination. "…. Not that I ever did any of those. But I'm just sayin'." He shrugs agains and refocuses his attentions on sifting through files on the screen. "The FBI keeps their audio files on a bouncing server that never really stays still for more than a minute before rotating out to another server. It's supposed to keep people like me out. But all you really gotta' do is figure out the pattern and leap before you look." Which, from the way he's trailing off his words, seems to be what he's in the process of doing now.

Maggie, not seeming apt to sit down any time soon, glances to the screen long enough to catch an eye-full of the fast-paced computer gibberish. She drifts behind Stanford him and folds her arms, and though this is the perfect position from which to watch him work, instead she watches the young man himself. "Then let's hope you're good with patterns. Still, if it's too risky," she says, slow — not wanting to interrupt him — and reassuring, "you can pull out. I want to know— " Quite a bit, it would seem. " — but putting you in unnecessary jeopardy… isn't my intention."

"I much prefer Wheel of Fortune actually." is all Stanford has to say before there's a chime. He grins and slaps himself five. "I'm in." Some hacker lingo just doesn't change. "Let's see if we can't find this name of yours." There's some skimming and some scanning (silent copying) and some scrolling to see if he can't find the right folder at which to double click on. After that, it's just a matter of getting to the last known file on the list and hovering the mouse over it. His other hands runs the volume control up and he proceeds to do that double click thing, before rolling out of the way.

This ain't his business.

Maggie's arms get folded progressively tighter over her vest. Despite standing still, a strong sense of restlessness exists — hovering, behind Stanford — as if, any second, her stillness will break apart and she'll start pacing in earnest. She doesn't. Rather, when Stanford clicks play and she looks ahead again, the quiet intensity from the woman only doubles.

Sound cuts in to the echoing sound of several bodies moving indistinctly in a room large enough for every movement to carry so well. Rustling: loud, close. The first voice comes in half-interrupted, but clear. Also close. Familiar to one of the listeners, though snide. "— lil' gunshot. We were off on a job … Calvert here was too stupid to even know there was hostages."

A few sniggers far in the distance. Then, a random voice in the background: "Yeah, but, you wasn't there the whole time. Not when that fed showed up." Another: "Eh heh, scared of a little fed, then?" Small, jesting, biting laughs. Now, another voice Maggie's heard, distinctive in its whiny pitch that fits the picture of him that was so recently on the screen: "Seen a lotta feds in prison, Rossie? … Six years is a long time ta rot. Maybe — mabe ye did a bit more'n that…"

Now… the one the detective's heard just the once in the club. But now, instead of casual, pleasant — it's cutting, low, anger so evident on the recording, so close to the device that saved its quality, that he could be there in the room. "Where exactly did you disappear to?" Something interrupts his voice every so often, chomping. Crunching. "Did you take my therapists to some fed?! Is he working with the fucking feds?!" Click. A lock? A weapon.

Roscoe: "Fuck the feds. And fuck the weasel."

Fast but distant movement, clearly rushed rustling. The Weasel: "This aint' — fir— time you — fuck — shoot me again!" This disruption seems at first to be coming from the noise of the speaker moving around, but the recording doesn't recover. In fact, the crackling worsens, blurring words together. Somebody shouts; it's probably Roberto. Swearing. Then, suddenly closer; it's definitely Roberto: "— the disappearing!? Where are you — go-iiiiiing all the time?! — craaaaazy?! Do you think — do — my back?! yessss — blonde cu — wherever she is! The feds can't kee — no one ca —! — bitch is going to wish — place!"

Roscoe's tone is dry even through the interference: "I think — off to the races — fucking interventio — here should get — work."

Shouting from Weasel. But what? 'Feds' seems to come up again. More than once. Now there's definite white noise of anger and yelling from several Irish accented voices but their quality fades the more there are and the farther away they stand from the microphone. A long pause occurs that can't be exactly described as silence thanks to the continued technological noises.

Then a message pops up on Stanford's window with a disapproving 'ding'! 'ERROR WITH FILE: TROUBLE READING INFORMATION. POSSIBLE CORRUPTION. CONTINUE?' and that shiny Continue button lights up.

Stanford's eyes are about as wide as they can get. He's got a feeling he shouldn't be listening to any of this. Or even paying attention to any of it. Or anything like that. Not while he's trying to keep the lowest possible profile in the history of profiles right about now. When the dialog box pops up, Stanford frowns and reaches to bring the mouse over the CONTINUE button, where it just kind of rests and waits. He's hesitant to even provide the option, but he's apparently going to leave it all up to the officer behind him. Thus, why he doesn't say anything (for once) and just kind of looks at her for confirmation.

Continue?

The detective stares straight at the screen as if the audio, never meant to be heard by either of the people in this room, is matched by video just as intense. Blue eyes hone in on invisible spots every so often, narrowing, following along with fast-paced thoughts: it's clear these snippets of conversation have meaning to Maggie as familiar voices and circumstances. A hand finds its way to her face, in a gesture of thoughtfulness, of tension, and she leans rather hard into her knuckles while she listens to the transmission of argumentative voices.

By the time it cuts off, that same hand has clamped over her mouth. She stays that way for awhile without answering Stanford's (remarkably) silent prompt, frozen, but there's nothing distant about her — she's completely focused, a statue on purpose. As the cop eventually refolds her arms, a slightly lifeless voice asks, "Will it finish?"

"Should. Might fry my comp, but…"

Stanford just kind of shrugs. He's already come this far. He might as well risk his time and equipment and safety on doing a favor for a police officer, whom would normally be his mortal enemy in situations like the one he's performing right now. However, for some reason, her hair is making him a lot more willing to do her favors.

"Let's find out."

Looks like Stanford is choosing for her, because he clicks the button.

Nothing for a moment, just the program attempting to read something that doesn't want to be read. Then the suddenly too-loud thud of an impact, static, a grunt in Roscoe's tones. People are catcalling, reacting in the background. Weasel's voice breaks out of the crowd first: "Cut 'im — fuckin' cut — know how — dere!" Everything at all cuts out right then. The sound file seems to debate quitting, but Stanford's machinery jogs it all past the problem area into another round of crackling Irish chaos.

It's Roberto again, now boiling over with an intensity of anger only capable in his clear insanity; every word uttered positively trembles with wrath: "FUCKING bast — !!! HO — HELL — EVEN GET — ?!" To the trained ear, the next clear sounds are those of hits — again, then again, of fist hitting something full-force, then smacking against skin. The rush of air must be the gasping of Roscoe losing his. "You — take him — — he can't — shot — here! … AND — you! — bring me back — FUC — blond — will be — DED — !" The rest of his speech is lost in a low buzzing that overrides it, more skipping from the file. And this is even labeled as the cleaned up version.

The weasely voice breaks through a last time, saying "You heard 'im," even as, simultaneously, the microphone gives a dying crackle and pop. End of the crackling noises means the recording finally gave up entirely. That is, with one final, send-off; just an instant of scuffle and then — a sickening crack. In the bad quality, it's impossible to say: something breaking? Gunshot? Whatever it is, it only punctuates that it's over, and there isn't any more.

Maggie isn't so still during the second round. As tension mounts within the audio file, so it does in Stanford's guest: not quite a case-hardened cop, her eyes widen to saucers, her mouth opens, and her brow furrows — all alarm, worry and fear (for gangsters?) as those trained ears of hers pick up every hit. The crack signifying the end of the transmission gives her a strong jolt, and she almost shouts — making some undefined noise in her throat, instead — in protest, as if she could stop something that already happened. She launches ahead toward the computer next to Stanford, staring at the screen as if searching for something else, something more to press play on. But since there's not, and since the empty chair is still nearby, she sits down, falling on automatic. Processing, Maggie stares quietly at the floor for awhile, but gives the hacker a small 'wait' gesture of her other hand — give her a second.

Stanford has no idea what in the holy hells is going on. He does, though, disengage his computer from the FBI servers fairly quickly before tracking software kicks in and bad things start going down all over the place. And then he'll have to vamoose and torch the place. Which, for the record, he kind of likes. With everything put back in its original place, including the webcrawlers and their previous tasks, Stanford can't really figure out what in the heck is the big deal.

"Uh, you aight? Cuz, y'know, those all sounded like some majorly bad dudes. Maybe your gang problem is gonna' work itself out?" This is Stanford failing at trying to be comforting. Or something close to comforting. Figuring this isn't going to work out too well, he extends a hand, opening it up slowly to reveal something blue and squishy.

"Gummi Frog?"

An elbow goes to the desk and she props her head up, which shakes in response to Stanford — though whether it's to his comments or the candy or both, it's not quite clear. "N— Yeah, I— " Maggie's voice evens out for a clearer statement. "It's more complicated than it sounds." She eases to her feet after a few moments of taking up Stanford's time in silence, swiping a hand under her nose, ironing out a frown, blinking an inordinate amount but otherwise collected. "If there's something else I can get you. Or do for you. Within reason, for this — all of it." Besides candy and assurances not to report him for breaking various laws, that is. "I owe you."

Everything's been closed, but— ding! File downloaded: merrychristmas.doc

Stanford is blinking a little bit, pretty much confused at the turning down the deliciousness that is the Blue Gummi Frog. He offers a shrug and pops it in his own mouth, chewing away at it with some renewed hunger. "Eh, no worries. I do what I can do, y'know? Besides, I can watch Doctor Who anytime." There's another shrug before Stanford looks back at the dinging of his computer and the raising of an eyebrow happens. "… Say what?"

He has no idea what all he downloaded, but anything that says merrychristmas as a title has to be a gift… or a disguise. "Yeah, right." Within seconds, Stan is running high end diagnostic software on the file, checking for all manner of hacker trickery and then some! He ain't opening that thing on his system yet!

A succinct nod, professional, and a smile is offered to Stanford — small, tired, under strain, but thankful all the same — and Maggie begins to turn to head for the door to make her exit out of the apartment. However, the detective's sturdy boots only scuff on the floor as she pivots back around, an unsure sort of concern creeping into her features. "Is something wrong?" She studies the screen, but doesn't seem to quite comprehend what Stanford is up to, her brow knitting over this slightly foreign world of technology. "What's happening?"

Diagnostics tear through the file easily: It isn't just a document but filled with attachments, none of which send up any alarms. Dated the same as the wire feed, it must have been attached for listeners to find.

"Chaos."

That's the only thing Stanford has to say about this file, but there comes a time when he has to bust out the zip drive and soon the file is moved to that and he's sliding away from the expensive system to a much smaller and cheap netbook that's resting on a random table. "Looks like somethin' was embedded in the audio files. Not exactly sure what it is. Could be anything. From anyone." Stanford looks back over his shoulder as he plugs the drive into the Old and Busted Notebook. "Whatever the hell it is, it's stayin' away from my system, I know that much."

Double Click.

And so Maggie resumes her place behind Stanford — wandering to his new spot affront the smaller computer. Looking over him to the screen with concern, she tucks her hands in her back pockets. "How…? Who would hide something like that at the FBI?" That could be a rhetorical question — they won't know, will they, until they find out just what it is.

Click-click. Whoosh! — a picture of a giant smiley face pops up. The words: I'm only doing this so you'll stop whining. Then come the attachments— pop-up after pop-up of information, pictures. Locations of Japanese goods that the Irish have scoped, names, unofficial mug-shots of which Irish goon can testify against a Japanese one. What it doesn't do is lead solidly back to the towering Takahashi name in any way that can't be easily denied as coming from lying Irish mouths… but the finale message is still confident: Now when you say I never gave you anything, you'll be lying

It's a gift.

Stanford actually jumps backwards in his chair when the smiley face pops up, but that's just an automatic reaction to whatever the hell is going on with his netbook at the moment. Right now, though, he's rolling his eyes and shaking his head. "… it's for you." Stanford snatches up the netbook and holds it in one hand, before spinning the chair to offer it to the cop. "Don't worry 'bout returnin' the comp either. I got like… fifty of 'em." Which totally has nothing to do with any missing netbook shipments two months ago. Especially the story that was on CNN. Nothing to do with that.

"…what…" Maggie begins to leans slightly over Stanford when the rush of information begins to fill the netbook, but she's forced to backpedal lest Stanford's chair crashes into her. Despite the nature of the data — a gift — her expression is acutely concerned, bewildered, staring at the screen even as the computer is offered up. Wordlessly, she takes it, snapping it shut in order to tuck it under one arm. "I guess it pays to be thorough…" Or is it going around the law that's paid off; perhaps that's why her statement sounds so suspicious.

She's off to leave the informant in peace, striding to the door with purposeful steps, which pause to undo his many locks and haul it open. At the threshold, she looks over her shoulder. "Thanks again for going through the trouble."

"Aye, aye Captain." is all that Stanford has to say in response to this whole being thanked thing. "Stock up on Gummi Frogs. Just sayin'." Stanford gives her a bit of a salute, before he turns back to his own machines, letting her exit, before he decides to see what all he stole from the FBI.

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